Monthly Archives: May 2006

Memorial Day


As we head into the Memorial Day weekend and officially kick off summer, I wanted to share with you something I wrote for family and friends several weeks ago. I did not know Cpt Weikel, he was a comrade of my cousin who is currently doing his 2nd tour in Iraq, and I went to represent our family and pay my respects. Have a safe holiday and please take a moment to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Yesterday was a remarkable day and I am not certain I can do it justice, but I will do my best. Arlington National Cemetery is a paradox. It is one of the most beautiful, quiet, leafy places. The birds sing and the trees shade you as you walk. And then you remember why you are there and how many people have come there for the same reason for many many years. Yesterday we were there to honor CPT Ian Weikel. CPT Weikel was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, both were presented to CPT Weikel’s widow, Wendy, by General Anderson. Additionally, Wendy was presented with a case for the burial flag. General Anderson spoke of how highly regarded CPT Weikel was by all who knew him, including his senior officers. Clearly CPT Weikel loved what he did and excelled at being a soldier.

The caisson, with three riders and one riderless horse took CPT Weikel to his final resting place. Over three hundred people followed the caisson to the gravesite. There were many active military whom had traveled from near and far to honor CPT Weikel. I have never seen such a display of patches, braids, medals, nor have I ever seen such shiny shoes. My favorite was a soldier who was clearly Calvary. He wore his spurs over dress his shoes. There were many retired military as well as Patriot Guard Riders. These folks are phenomenal. More than twenty came, there were twenty Harleys and many of them had two riders. All of them carried very large American flags, which at the end of the service they made an alley with the flags for Wendy to walk through to the limousine, so in her grief, she could be shielded from the crowd. They did not know CPT Weikel but came to honor him and they do this for any soldier they can. We all walked shoulder to shoulder in the crowd that had an amazing cross section of Americans: bikers, soldiers, mothers, and friends.

The graveside service was beautiful. There was a 21 gun salute, Taps was played, as was America the Beautiful, and there was ceremonial Bagpipe playing. CPT Weikel’s pastor from his church in Texas gave a very moving eulogy about the passion with which CPT Weikel lived his life. The passion with which he loved his wife, his God and the Army was fierce. The pastor spoke of the impact that CPT Weikel had on so many people. This was apparent again by the sheer number of people there, including several West Point cadets who had been given permission to have the day off to pay their respects. Both Wendy and CPT Weikel’s mother were presented with flags.

We were standing in the shade and the Army band was playing America the Beautiful while the sun shone on the headstones of Fallen Soldiers and I began to understand. It was as if I heard the word Brotherhood for the very first time. I recalled a moment of Candace and Matthew’s wedding when I was talking to Roman Izzo. He said “Don’t call us Heroes, it really is offensive. It shows disrespect to each and every one of our brothers who has gone before us and given the Ultimate Sacrifice.” I get it now, even though I thought I understood it then. Watching the ceremony at Arlington, with the leaves and the birds and gravesite, for the first time I really began to understand that Freedom isn’t Free. I knew it but did not understand it. I have never been more proud to be an American. It was so very humbling to know that so very many people who I have never met or will meet, stand tall every single day so that I can have the life I have. They stand tall to protect my children. And they consider it a privilege, an honor. Up until yesterday, I thought I knew what Honor was. I had no idea. As a civilian, I am certain I will never understand it fully yet yesterday gave me a glimpse of what Honor is. There is a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and pride in my heart to know that CPT Ian Weikel gave the Ultimate Sacrifice for us all. Let us do what Christian has told us to do, Deserve It. We can never repay the Ultimate Sacrifice however, we can not squander it. May God rest your soul Captain Ian Weikel and thank you for your gift which we can never repay. God Bless America. God Bless those who keep America safe, we are forever in your debt.

Fickle Fickle Fickle


Frog Pond for the Sock. I was about one inch from the toe decreases and I realized I just wasn’t that happy with it. Yes, I know I gave all that Sunshine and Light talk about knitting on and keeping the sock as a memento. Hooey! Crap! Frog it Baby.

Then I was on a roll. Which resulted in this, and this.

Good For The Soul (Sole) I tell you.

The other thing good for the Soul? My peonies. When we left Seattle we left many, many peonies. About 25 bushes and 2 trees. It broke my heart. So I have been slowly building up my stash. One of my favorite things about them is that as soon as the bud shows color, you can cut them and they will continue to open in the vase. After a few days of contemplating it, I did it. I realized they are mine to do with what I want. I cut them all and put them in a vase so as to enjoy them more easily. The Dark ones are Karl Rosenfeld, the Bright Pink are Kansas and the Pale Pink are Sarah Bernhardt. Heaven.

Sheep & Wool Spoils


Roving Around. Here we have some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Super Merino in Hot Flash. The Other Wad is also BMFA but Merino & Kid Mohair, also in Hot Flash. We thought they were both the Super Merino and had an Oops moment when we realized they were different. Lord Knows what these will become and truthfully it doesn’t matter. It is just fun to use my Turkish Drop Spindle and some awesomely dyed roving.

Blue is normally not my color, but this is such a beautiful color that I found it hard to resist. Especially when it is Three Waters Farm Wool/Alpaca. Yummy. It wants to be a cardigan, I think. The Green, also Three Waters Farm Wool/Alpaca, is awesome. I was thinking of using a bit of it on the cuffs on the Cardigan but worry that while I think it is cute now, in a few years I might not like it.

Also from Three Waters is some Superwash Merino in Aunt Maude’s Mauve.

This is some Cestari, a local Virginia Yarn, which will become Holiday Vests for the Small Hollering Boys. If I can get them to wear the vests, even if it is just for a photograph I will be very pleased.

Here is Frog being a whacko. Yes, he climbed the window screen to the top. And yes, he is chewing on my ball winder.



We are having the most beautiful Spring. Last year there was no Spring, just a very long wet Winter and then one day I opened the back door and was hit by the Blast Furnace that is Virginia in the Summer. We were robbed, especially since it was such a hot humid Summer. This year, Spring has gone on forever and I am loving it. I am sure that by putting this in writing I am cursing myself and it will be distressingly H-O-T in no time. Emily and M were laughing at me and my thinking that there is actually Humidity in Virginia. Well, yes living in Alabama I suppose you really Do Know Humidity. But after 15-ish years living in Seattle my ability to even cope in a place where there Sunshine is questionable. For the record, I love the Weather in Seattle. Love it. And it is easy to spot the tourists, they are the ones with umbrellas.

Socks for a nice Spring Day are called for,No? What should I call these? I love the colors and the stripes. The yarn is Koigu purchased from God Knows Where. The pattern is Simple Sock from Socks Soar. The pattern calls for ribbing the whole leg and the instep but because I wanted stripes, no ribbing- except for about an inch at the top. There are some rookie mistakes but all in all I am happy with it so far.I was going to Frog them, instead I think I will knit on and keep these as a reminder of where I started as a Sock Knitter.

This is the same pattern but with the ribbing, using Mystery Yarn that was gifted to me by my still as unrevealed Secret Pal 7. Hey- SP7, could you let me know at least the fiber content and washing instructions? An anonymous comment would be great, if you still wish to remain unnamed. (Sorry for the Blurry Picture)

And last, this is headed for the Frog Pond as the Pink/Orange is coming off on my fingers. It was a gift of Knit Picks Color Your Own from Tammy and I did not set the dye properly. Can I retro-set the dye, does anyone know? I love the color. I used Wilton and Vinegar. Please advise!

Have a Great Monday!

Fan Club President


Oh my GOODNESS. That was SO much Fun. I adore Emily. She is hysterically funny. What can I say? I could not be happier that I got the harebrained idea to invite her to come to Maryland Sheep & Wool. It could be dicey, you know “Hey come someplace you have never been with somebody you don’t know and hang out.” Really it could not have gone better. Phew. I wasn’t nervous but I am relieved that it was so much fun.

How cute is she?

There so so much to say about what a blast the past few days have been like. The dinner, looking into my living room and seeing Emily read books to the small hollering boys who LOVE Mr & Mrs Ivey. Angus has a huge obsession with Alabama and when M started talking to him about Chucky the Alligator, I thought he was going to expire in the sheer joy of it. And, um Emily tried to teach Angus to say Roll Tide. Christian and Matthew if you read this, I am so sorry she brought him a Tide T-shirt. Yea, um, Em…Two Words: Beat Bama! But the Boys LOVE the T-shirts. And I love the Trekking she brought me some beautiful aubergine Trekking. And an Orange Chibi. I had no idea there was even an Orange Chibi.

Then there was the actual Sheep & Wool Festival. This was my second year and it seemed WAY more crowded this year. I was pretty restrained with the Yarn Purchases. Except, you know that seemingly genteel Emily? She is a force. She is a pusher, okay maybe pusher is too strong, maybe she is more of a nudger. How else could I have thought of buying a Turkish drop spindle and a Huge Wad of Blue Moon Fiber Arts roving in the Hot Flash colorway from the folks at The Fold. There was no STR by the time we got there. They sold 800 skeins in One Hour. Can you imagine? There was similar Carnage with the Koigu. I brought a camping back pack, last year I had to work really hard to shut the darned thing. This year, I had to pack it carefully but there was no stuffing. I bought some of my Fave Yarn from Three Waters Farm, the Wool & Alpaca. I bought a ton last year and a bit less this year but Mary Ann remembered me from last year. How great did that feel? A kajillion people and she remembered me? Awesome. They are only about 5 hours away and if they offered weekend workshops, I would go. Mary Ann and Stephen are so kind and the vibe is wonderful. More people I think I could really stick to. Yea, I have met them twice for a grand total of 10 minutes. Call me impulsive.

And Emily, gracious? Holy Southern Manners Batman! So, let me say it now for all to hear: Beltway, I HATE YOU WITH A PASSION THAT BURNS IN MY SOUL. YOU ARE EVIL EVIL EVIL. And I have a few choice words for you too, Baltimore-Washington Parkway. So after being spent and having our rears kicked by more fiber than you can imagine and after being blinded by some really awful variegated stuff, I um got us lost. A drive that should have taken about an hour took much longer and we ended up having to go the LONG way around the Beltway. Emily was the epitome of grace and charm. She knitted on her sockpal sock. Can I say to Emily’s sockpal (I don’t know who you are-don’t ask, don’t tell), you are one lucky sockpal. They are beautiful and have come from the hands of one of the nicest, brightest, most grounded people I have ever met. So, we are lost and Emily made it fantastic by enjoying the moment (or at least pretend to) and telling me tales of her family and her life. Really, she is a bright ray of Sunshine and I am all the better for knowing her. I vote myself President of the Emily Ivey/Yarn Miracle Fan Club.